The New England Revolution drew the Colorado Rapids 2-2 tonight at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. It was far from pretty, featuring two penalties and a red card ejection, but in the end only the results matter.
Benny Feilhaber's first goal for the Revolution kicked things off before Chris Tierney was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity and Caleb Folan buried the ensuing penalty. Kosuke Kimura scored a freak goal before Shalrie Joseph put away another penalty to settle the scores.
The Rapids nearly busted the match wide open right from the outset when Kosuke Kimura nearly scored in the second minute. He received the ball at the centerline and blazed his way down the right side before cutting inside A.J. Soares and ripping an effort from the edge of the area that Matt Reis just managed to tip over.
Unfortunately, the rest of the first half failed to live up to the promise of that early chance. Colorado dominated possession but both teams lacked the ideas necessary to break down their opponent's back line. Several dangerous crosses were served in, mostly by Rapids players, but Reis and/or the Revolution defense were more than equal to them.
Then, in the 24th minute, the match was flipped on its head. Kevin Alston delivered a long throw-in fro the right flank that reached the head of Stephen McCarthy in the box. The rookie midfield rose highest (not difficult for the 6'4" former Tar Heel) and flicked the ball behind him across the face of goal. Benny Feilhaber then pushed himself in between the ball and Wells Thompson and thumped a diving header into the back of the net for his first ever MLS goal.
Sanna Nyassi nearly leveled the score in the 30th minute. Brian Mullan ran into trouble on the right side, but managed to chip a little ball over the top to the Gambian. Nyassi drove to the byline and then drilled a cross-cum-shot that Reis had to do well to get down and parry. The Rapids had the last clear chance of the half when Drew Moor cut past Schilawski on the left and floated in a far-post cross, but Mullan was unable to be accurate with his volley and it bounded well wide.
The second half made up for much of the boredom and dreariness of the first half. New England nearly doubled their advantage in the 51st minute when Shalrie Joseph received the ball in midfield, took a few touches, and then elected to side-foot the ball from distance. It bent toward the far post and had Pickens beaten, but didn't quite curve enough and fell wide.
Five minutes later, the Revs attempted some trickery to increase their lead and were nearly successful yet again. Benny Feilhaber quickly took a free kick and played it low and wide for Chris Tierney, whose first-time cross to the far post looked like it might find the head of Joseph. Unfortunately, he and Matt Pickens collided challenging for it and the ball rolled wide.
Colorado responded in the 63rd minute and it was they would be the first to truly find the range. Omar Cummings dribbled out to the right flank before slipping in a clever low pass to Sanna Nyassi, who drove on goal. Chris Tierney laid out to make a goal-saving tackle but instead clipped Nyassi's heels and referee Chris Gamble pointed to the spot. He also ejected Tierney for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, and then Caleb Folan made no mistake with his penalty.
A minor milestone occurred in the 68th minute when Sainey Nyassy came on for Stephen McCarthy, marking the first time that both Nyassi twins found themselves on the pitch at the same time in MLS play.
The Revs still managed to put some chances in even with their numerical disadvantage. Benny Feilhaber turned a crushed a half-volley on frame in the 71st minute that forced a save out of Pickens. Kevin Alston had a long-range drive soar over the bar a minute later, and in the 76th minute both Kenny Mansally and Shalrie Joseph had shots blocked following a Darrius Barnes long throw.
Colorado managed to double their advantage, though, in the 82nd minute, thanks to a freak goal. Kosuke Kimura played a long-ball out of the back to try and spring Caleb Folan on goal, but instead the ball took a hard bounce and flew over the head of Matt Reis and into the goal.
Improbably, the Revs managed to level the score in the 89th minute. Kenny Mansally was brought down in the area by Scott Palguta, resulting in a penalty. Interestingly, although it appeared to deny a clear goalscoring opportunity, Palguta was not shown any card. That didn't matter to Shalrie Joseph, though, and the captain fired his shot down the middle and stole a point for New England, giving them four from a possible six on this road trip.